Wednesday, June 3, 2009

International Space Station Now at Full Capacity

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For the first time in its 10-year history, the International Space Station is finally at its full capacity of six astronauts, after a Russian Soyuz capsule carrying three new residents arrived at the ISS on Friday, according to Discovery News. In addition, each of the major space station partners is represented on board for the first time: two Russians and one American, Japanese, Canadian and Belgian. The ISS crew had never gone above three astronauts at time, and dipped to two for a while following the Columbia disaster in 2003.

"There is so much potential in this beginning, in this historic milestone," Steve MacLean, president of the Canadian Space Agency and a former astronaut, said at the Russian control center outside Moscow, according to the article. "[It represents] what we will be able to achieve with future programs ... and what we as a combined series of countries can do for the future exploration of space." In a few weeks, the space shuttle Endeavor will arrive with another seven astronauts, for a total of 13, although that will only be temporary, the report said. (Image credit: European Space Agency)

Be sure to check out our tips for viewing the space station from Earth, as well as Microsoft's Virtual Earth-powered space station online explorer.


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